Lesson 2: Self-Consequating

Click for introductory video for Lesson 2

In this lesson, students should brainstorm how they will reward and punish their own behaviors. Making promises to improve performance to themselves is the heart of self-consequating.

Explanation for students:

Self-consequating means choosing your own rewards and punishments based on your performance. Another way to think of self-consequating is that you are making a promise to yourself. Promising yourself a reward once your goal/task is satisfactorily completed, or promising a punishment if you do not complete it, can help you get motivated to achieve your own goals.

Your promises or rewards should not always be money or things. It is important to choose an incentive that is meaningful and enjoyable to you. Using a fun activity as an incentive is a good idea. Also, your rewards should be smaller for short term goal and bigger for long term goals. For example, if your goal is to study more each night for a week, then a reward could be 15 minutes of television or telephone for every hour you study. For a long term goal, like raising a grade from C to B in a month, a reward could be a special shopping trip or an evening of fun activities at home with your friends.

The key is that the reward only comes AFTER and IF you accomplish your goal. Do not pick a movie as a reward for studying if you plan to go to the movie anyway. You have to withhold rewards if you do not complete your task. For example, a punishment can be that you do NOT permit yourself to watch your favorite television program because you did not finish what you had planned.

To get started on using self-consequating, you can make two lists: one of rewards, and one of punishments. An example of what the list might look like is HERE; you may wish to use this one or create one of your own.

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